A state-of-the-art laboratory to further increase the skills and employment opportunities of Engineering and Professional Construction students and apprentices has been developed by Derby College Group, with the help of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.
The new £1.75million Technology Hub – developed within an existing part of the Derby College Group (DCG) Roundhouse Technical and Professional Skills College, at Pride Park – has been supported by a £1.3million grant from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.
D2N2 is the private sector-led Partnership promoting economic growth, including via skills and training, across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Its funding for the Technology Hub came from its £250m Local Growth Fund allocation; awarded by the UK Government to part-fund infrastructure projects which directly benefit the LEP area’s economy and create jobs.
The Technology Hub will be officially opened in early summer (2019), in time for DCG’s new student intake to use in September.
The Mechatronics (the term means engineering which uses a mix of electrical and mechanical systems) equipment in the Hub, designed by multi-national industrial control and automation company Festo, is a scaled-down version of the firm’s next generation in industry production lines. It mirrors the hi-tech artificial intelligence manufacturing equipment used in a wide range of industry sectors, from those making confectionery to cars.
Engineering and Professional Construction course students, from school leavers to those on DCG’s higher education programmes, are set to benefit from the Technology Hub, as part of their wider study programmes. They will learn a wide range of industry-relevant practical and theoretical skills including:
- computer programming
- how to operate pneumatic, hydraulic and robotic manufacturing control systems
- skilled maintenance of the equipment.
The Technology Hub development also includes installation of upgraded CNC (computer numerical control) milling and turning equipment, and 3D printers; which are already being used by students in the Engineering and Professional Construction Academies based at the Roundhouse College.
Liza-Jo Guyatt, Executive Head of the Roundhouse College, said: ““The engineering environment continues to change rapidly, with the increase of robotics and sophisticated intelligent electronic controls that blur the boundaries of traditional engineering disciplines. The development of Mechatronics requires significant investment in technology, to provide learning environments which will support the application in tomorrow’s employment opportunities.
“Our new Technology Hub will therefore support the needs of employers, and the career aspirations of our students and apprentices, and is part of our vision to be a technology centre of excellence in the East Midlands. By prioritising the growth of Engineering and Construction provision, this investment is central to Derby College Group’s commitment to raise the level of higher skills within the future workforce.
“Expanding the opportunities for students will be key to productivity and growth amongst a wide range of Engineering industry sectors; such as rail, automotive manufacturing, food and drink maintenance and Construction.”
Tom Goshawk, Capital Projects Manager for the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “Skills are a vital part of the D2N2 LEP area economy. Good skills training puts people on sustainable career paths and enables businesses to employ the right workers in order for them to grow.
“This is why D2N2 invests heavily in programmes promoting better and advanced skills, and in projects such as the Derby College Group’s new £1.75million Technology Hub.”
Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone. That’s why by 2021 the UK Government will have invested over £12billion through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders. Analysis has shown every £1 of Local Growth Fund invested could generate £4.81 in benefits.
For more on how the D2N2 LEP is using its Local Growth Fund allocation to help its area’s economy see its website at link www.d2n2lep.org/Local-Growth-Fund
Media wanting further information about the D2N2 LEP can contact D2N2 Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 957 8749 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org